Tips For Moving To A New Home When You Have PTSD

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

You can’t help but get excited at the prospect of moving to another town or even a different continent. Most people look forward to moving out of their old house and starting a new life, especially if they had previously been living in bad conditions.

However, moving can be nerve-wracking, especially for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can make the transition much more difficult.

For better or worse, moving to a new place is fraught with mixed feelings that inevitably lead to “moving stress.” It’s not going to be easy to put together a move plan. It is vital to understand and plan for it effectively if you want to move with less stress and easily settle into your new house.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Individuals who have been subjected to violence, or major injury as a result of a traumatic incident, such as a natural catastrophe, a terrible accident, a terrorist act, war or sexual assault, are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although PTSD has been referred to by several labels in the past, such as “shell shock” and “battle exhaustion” following World War I and World War II, it does not only affect combat veterans. PTSD can afflict anyone, regardless of race, nationality, or culture.

People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have troubling thoughts and feelings that persist long after the traumatic incident has stopped. They may have flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sad, fearful, or angry; and they may feel isolated or distant from others. It is common for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to avoid situations or people that bring back memories of the trauma. They may have significant negative reactions to simple things like loud noises or unintentional touch.

Factors That Cause Stress During A Move

Getting rid of your home is stressful for many reasons. Moving into a new home should be a chance to start over and forget about the ups and downs of your past. Moving doesn’t necessarily cause stress in and of itself, however. Moving out can be emotionally taxing for a number of reasons, including the following:

Big Changes

Moving to a new location, finding a new career, and making new friends are all part of the process of transitioning. Anxiety is a common reaction to change. Being in motion will cause you to sense this.


Moving is connected with so many different things. One of the most common sources of anxiety for those who are moving is a lack of financial resources. Even if you live a simple lifestyle, moving to a new place can still be expensive. It doesn’t matter if you have the money or not to relocate; moving will still cost you money.


During a house move, it feels like your entire life has been put on hold. In order to keep going, you have to put all of your focus and energy into it, which might induce stress. Even if you’re only moving a few miles or moving to a new city, you’ll need enough time to prepare and settle into your new location.

Moving Tips For People With PTSD

PTSD can be triggered by any stressful situation, just like any other anxiety or trauma disorder. Moving is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do, but there are a few more everyday occurrences that can compare. For those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, even simple tasks like moving can be difficult.

1. Set Small Achievable Goals

Make a list of realistic, achievable goals connected to the relocation. Keep your mind focused on getting the last box taped up or getting excited about moving everything into your new home. Definite future events, even if they are small, can save people from getting too caught up in the pressures of the here and now.

2. Be Patient With Yourself 

Patience is key. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have PTSD, and be kind to a loved one who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Just be there for them as long as they need you to be. Take as many breaks as you need, and don’t be afraid to slow things down if required.

3. Get To Know Your Triggers

Being aware of the exact sights, sounds, scents, etc. that are most likely to cause you or a loved one to experience a PTSD-related panic attack means you’ll be more prepared to respond when it happens. A lot of banging around with boxes and furniture is inevitable during a relocation, and it is well-recognized that loud noises are a major PTSD trigger.

4. Ask For Help If Necessary

Moving is necessary, but make sure your health is always the most important consideration when making a decision on where to go. If the pressure mounts to a point that you need to set priorities, don’t hesitate to abandon everything. If you need support, don’t hesitate to seek it out. Visit to read more about the importance of therapeutic intervention during major life events such as moving. 

5. Prioritize Your Physical Health

Mental and physical health are intertwined. So even during a move, it’s crucial to get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, limit drugs and alcohol, and take a bit of time to practice some stretching to alleviate aching muscles caused by all the packing.

6. Make A Plan In Advance

Don’t forget to write down everything that has to be done and provide plenty of time for delays and setbacks. You can understand how stressful it is for people with PTSD to feel pressured, and it can be considerably worse for them. Having an idea of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done can make things a lot less chaotic.

7. Know That Your Feelings Are Valid

Even with the best of intentions and preparations, moving can still cause reactions. Don’t try to ignore it if that happens. It’s time to face the facts. Let go of the idea that your emotions are irrational or invalid. Remember to allow yourself or a loved one permission to feel whatever emotions come up, whether they are happy, sad, terrified, furious, or depressed.

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